Earth Week 2024 – Sustainability and social value in action

Posted on the 16th April 2024

Earth Week 2024 – Sustainability and Social Value in action

Much has changed since the first ever Earth Day celebration back in 1970. Expanding from a demonstration of 20 million Americans, the movement now engages around 1 billion people each year worldwide. As awareness grows of our impact on the planet, communities across the world are mobilising to create change.

In the lead-up to Earth Day, we’re highlighting our commercial partners and their remarkable contributions toward addressing climate change and reducing poverty.

Sustainability and social value

Reuse Network and The Appliance Recycling Group, a market leading collections and reuse organisation, have worked together since 2021 on the reuse and supply of electrical appliances to reuse charities across the country.

In 2023 alone, The Appliance Recycling Group donated 564 appliances to Reuse Network members in a bid to tackle the increasing amount of waste produced by people replacing their old electrical appliances. 451 households across the UK benefitted from this partnership in 2023 with £84,600 saved if these items had been purchased new.

Speaking on the items donated by The Appliance Group in 2023, Natalie Mann, Finance Manager at Milton Keynes-based charity Reuse MK said, “These collections have made a massive difference to our project and the fight against furniture poverty. Not only have we been able to provide members of our community with affordable white goods, but it has also enabled us to donate items free of charge to those most in need.”

Through the reuse of appliances, reuse charities help low-income households create sustainable homes. In addition, reuse charities and social enterprises provide advice, support and opportunities, helping the most marginalised and vulnerable members of their communities tackle issues ranging from debt to unemployment.

This year, The Appliance Recycling Group has strengthened its commitment to sustainability and social value by pledging to donate appliances totalling £100,000 in social value to Reuse Network members across the country. By focusing on the social value of its donated items, The Appliance Recycling Group is aiming to shine a spotlight on the impact of reused products which goes beyond environmental and economical.

Tackling e-waste

According to the World Economic Forum, ‘global e-waste almost doubled in the past 12 years reaching 62 billion kilogrammes (kg) in 2022, and is projected to increase to 82 billion kg by 2030.

Together with our nationwide network of charity members and dedicated commercial partners, we are working to provide a solution to the growing number of electrical appliances being wasted. By working across sectors, we are creating the connections needed to ensure that good quality items are being reused and distributed to households who need them.

Each item donated to a charity from The Appliance Recycling Group is safety tested and fully cleaned so it can go into domestic use. White goods are either donated free of charge to local households in need or are assigned to the shop floor, where, if sold, the funds go back into the charity to underpin the work the charity does.

The Appliance Recycling Group and Reuse Network’s partnership is an example of how the commercial sector and third sector can work together to create meaningful change. Through this innovative approach to reusing appliances, we have created a model that not only transforms lives but also sets a precedent for sustainable practices in the pursuit of a better, more equitable world.

This year, the partnership is on track to create even more environmental savings. So far, in 2024, The Appliance Recycling Group has donated 374 items which has prevented 10,891kg of harmful CO2 emissions.

If you’re a company seeking to extend your products’ lifespan or incorporate reuse into your ESG goals, we’d love to talk to you about how we can work together. Get in touch today.

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